WHOOPING COUGH.-This is a contagious disease, usually prevailing in epidemics. It is generally an affection of childhood, which few individuals escape,but it also not infrequently attacks adults.
At first it appears as an ordinary “cold,” with chilliness, slight fever, and a dry fatiguing cough, which returns in paroxysms. This stage lasts generally a few days, but it may last a fortnight. This is the catarrhal stage. In the second stage- nervous,spasmodic,or convulsive stage-all the characteristic symptoms show themselves. The paroxysms are excessively violent and distressing. There are a series of short expiratory efforts,followed by a long, slow inspiration,accompanied by the peculiar whooping or crowding sound from which the disease gets its name. The paroxysms follow one another in quick succession until the patient vomits or gets up a quantity of glairy mucus. During a paroxysm the face becomes swollen and lived, the veins of the neck swell, and sometimes bleeding from the nose or into the tissues of the eye occurs. This stage may last for months. It is often complicated by inflammation of the lungs or bronchitis, and then there is considerable danger. Convulsions are another dangerous complication.
In the third stage,or stage of decline, the paroxysms grow shorter, less frequent,and less violent; the whoop generally disappears, and the cough becomes indistinguishable from an ordinary cough.
General Treatment.-It will be necessary to guard against chills. Food should be light and plain, and all stimulating foods and drinks studiously avoided. Mental emotions should also be carefully guarded against. When a change of air can be obtained it is often desirable.
Medicines.-(Every few hours until relief is obtained.)
-As related in my book on Whooping Cough cured with Coqueluchin, I have found in this nosode a specific for a large proportion of cases of this disease. IT should be given every four hours to begin with, and if does not cut short the case in a few days or materially modify its severity,another remedy may be chosen form the following.
-At the beginning. Cough dry, Whistling;fever;burning sensation in the larynx.
-Loose cough,with vomiting.
-Cough dry and hollow,or harsh and hacking;worse at night with congestion to the head, and headache or sore throat.
-Cough dry,with vomiting and great agitation, blueness of the face,fear of suffocation:comes on after midnight and lasts till morning.
-Fear of suffocation; may be given after every paroxysm.
-Great weakness,fever,cold perspiration, especially of the forehead, with quick, weak pulse, and much thirst. Involuntary discharge of urine during paroxysm, or pains in the chest, body, or groin. When the child is not lively between the paroxysms; neck so weak that it will hardly support the head. Useful after Cuprum.
-Cough worse during the night: Patient worse at rest than when in motion; chilliness not accompanied by thirst, but followed by it; sweat not cold but rather warm,and occurs only at night; paroxysms violent ending in vomiting food.
– Cough comes on while eating, and food is immediately thrown up.
-Entire rigidity of the body or convulsions after each paroxysm, vomiting in the attack, and rattling of mucus in the chest while coughing.
-Bleeding from nose or mouth, or when effused into the eyes or the tissues round the eyes. When each paroxysm of the cough is preceded or followed by crying.
– When the cough is diminished, but is still dry and hoarse, or hollow and ringing,with occasional retching, followed by fits of crying.
Ant. tart. 6.
-When given at the beginning will sometimes cut short the disease, or diminish its violence. In more advanced stages, when the air-pipes are apparently choked up with mucus, the cough sounding as if there was much phlegm on the chest, which,however, will not come up. Face bluish.